Step 17: Installing the Coaming and Making the Hatch Covers
Well, now that the end pours were completed it was time to attach the coaming which goes around the cockpit. The coaming is made of a ring on top of two pieces of 6 mm plywood cut to the shape of the outline of the cockpit. First I laid out the pieces out and marked where they need to go:
Next, I mixed up some thickened epoxy and applied it to the pieces, positioning each one carefully. I used two brads to secure the ring-supporting pieces to the deck beam. Then I clamped it down and wiped up any drips of epoxy. I got it all attached the first time only to realize that I had it about a half inch too far to one side and had to take off all the clamps and redo it. It took 18 clamps in all and I can't see doing it with many less than that:
Since I had the epoxy all mixed up it was a good time to also make the hatch covers. They are made of 4 mm plywood cut slightly larger than the hatch openings backed by two or three curved pieces of 6 mm plywood:
The idea is to get the cover to have a gentle bend that matches the curve of the deck. I glued the spine pieces to the inside of the cover and it bent fairly easily around them. This took another 10 clamps (but the good news is that the spring clamps pictured below only cost $0.97 each):
After 24 hours I foolishly thought that the epoxy was dry enough so I removed the clamps from the hatch covers. 10 minutes later the small one became un-glued and I had to redo it. While that one was drying the larger hatch cover came unglued too so it took me a while to get both of the hatch covers done. To get them caught back on schedule, I brought them indoors where I could do coats of varnish every 12 hours without fear of bugs messing things up:
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